If your household runs anything like mine, there is a most frequently asked question. That is: Mom, what’s for dinner? You knew that was the question, didn’t you? Personally, I grew so thoroughly tired of that very question that I began posting a weekly menu so that there was no longer an excuse for asking. It clings to the side of our refrigerator and is changed out each Friday afternoon.
Recently, Mrs. Stephanie Sheaffer of Metropolitan Mama fame tweeted me her own spin on that question. Considering she’s not privy to the menu posted on my fridge, I didn’t mind a bit ;)
So here I am, sharing my method for meal planning. Hopefully it will inspire one or two of you to venture out of your own dinner doldrums. Oh and pee ess, a little sharing of your own ideas either in the comments or via your own post would be greatly appreciated by yours truly. We all need a little inspiration from time to time, right?
Here is how our weekly meal plan typically pans out:
- Only about 50% of our meals include meat (either organic chicken breast or ground turkey)
- We eat Mexican cuisine at least once–but usually twice–each week
- Soup (made from homemade chicken stock) is a weekly menu item
- I read a lot of food blogs and try to introduce a new meal from those at least once each week.
- I also try to find ways to modify family favorites (trying Greek pizza as opposed to pepperoni, for example)
- When all else fails, I consult the master dinner list I keep and plug in a meal from either the spring/summer or fall/winter sections, depending upon the season
So, to answer Stephanie’s question, my five go-to dinner recipes change by season. My fall/winter list would look something like this:
- A baked pasta dish (Baked ziti, baked spaghetti, sour cream noodle bake)
- A cold-weather Mexican dish (enchiladas, or Mexican casserole)
- Hearty soup, chili or stew (minestrone, chicken noodle, broccoli cheddar)
- Comfort food (spicy pot pie, butternut squash lasagna, shepherd’s pie)
- Something unexpected (can’o'beer chicken, barbecue skillet, chicken stacky uppy)
The spring/summer list would be lighter. Like this:
- Something grilled (turkey burgers, tequila lime chicken, ginger-soy shrimp)
- Warm-weather Mexican (tacos, black bean tostadas with jicama, pineapple fajitas)
- A salad (grilled corn with chicken and avocado, Greek couscous salad)
- Light soup (chicken tortilla, creamy tomato)
- Something unexpected (crust-less quiche served with Gruyere popovers, stir fry, corn cakes)
We have yet to switch over to spring/summer foods (we put it off because our warm season is SO much longer than our cold one) but making that list leaves my mouth watering for Jeff’s grilled specialties, served up with an ice-cold margarita.
Soon, little taste buds. Soon.
If you decide to do your own go-to meal ideas post, please link in the comments; I’d love to be inspired!